Join the #OptOutside Movement This Black Friday

Join the #OptOutside Movement This Black Friday

Couple on a hike

PHOTO: Go hiking on Black Friday. (photo via Halfpoint / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

REI has started a movement with its #OptOutside campaign that encourages people to get out and move rather than head into shops on the day after Thanksgiving.

More than 15 million people and over 700 organizations have chosen to #OptOutside over the years since REI started the campaign in 2015, and each year state parks, national parks and a number of groups and societies band together to get people outdoors. In its fourth year, the idea of getting out has become a tradition for many.

Virginia State Parks

Virginia’s state parks are once again encouraging people to explore the great outdoors this holiday weekend. In particular, at Natural Bridge, visitors can get an early look at the Festival of Trees.

“It’s an opportunity for an alternative way to spend Black Friday, to get outdoors and to maybe walk off some of that Thanksgiving turkey and enjoy the outdoors,” Natural Bridge Park manager Jim Jones told WDBJ 7 news.

Virginia’s parks are also sponsoring a photo contest for pictures taken over the weekend.

Missouri’s National Parks and Historical Sites

Missouri’s National Parks and Historical Sites department is also encouraging people to #OptOutside this Thanksgiving. Visitors and residents will find free tours and also coupons for camping.

Audubon Society

The Audubon Society is encouraging people to learn how to go birding this Black Friday. Grab a pair of binoculars, and head out with these great tips in hand.

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Openlands in Chicago, an organization that advocates for preserving the region’s natural landscapes is suggesting visitors and residents in the area head to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, one of the best outdoor areas in Chicago, and see herds of bison.

Openlands also recommends Ryerson Woods, Busse Woods, Orland Grassland and the South Shore Nature Sanctuary.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging people to #OptOutside as well.

“On Friday, Nov. 23, burn those Thanksgiving calories, recover from shopping excursions and explore some of the state’s best outdoor destinations,” the DNR told

The department suggests places to hike, bike, hunt, fish, snowshoe and more.

New Mexico

In New Mexico, REI, the Trust for Public Land and the state of New Mexico have joined together to get people outdoors this Thanksgiving.

“Eighty-six percent of Albuquerque residents live within a 10-minute walk of some sort of public land,” Bob Mosher, REI outreach coordinator told KOB news.

Mother suggested that opting outside could be something simple such as going to the Bosque for a hike or a bike ride or going to play disc golf at Roosevelt Park. He noted that he will be visiting Carlsbad Caverns for the day.

National Parks

Use the website to find your nearest national park and OptOutside this Thanksgiving.

For more ideas on where to go, follow #OptOutside on Twitter and Instagram.


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